ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that its CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition has registered more than 4,400 teams to compete in the 2016-2017 season, marking an impressive 30% growth from last year. Teams registered represent all 50 States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Hungary.
"Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, participants and supporters, our program continues to grow, which ultimately gets more youth involved in STEM activities and education – and that's our goal," said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner. "We look forward to hosting a competitive season this year, and have some fun along the way."
"We are thrilled with CyberPatriot's growth and the impact it's making on addressing the global demand for cyber professionals," said Diane Miller, director, Global Cyber Education and Workforce Development Programs. "Not only are teams returning, but we're seeing teams from new regions join-in. The program's focus on diversity means we're inspiring youth from every corner of society, thus widening our talent pool and creating a robust pipeline, critical to our future defense."
The CyberPatriot IX season, which has already begun practice rounds for teams worldwide, will host its annual kickoff event in conjunction with CyberCenturion, the United Kingdom's version of CyberPatriot, on Nov. 11, 2016 at Air Force Association headquarters.
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school, middle school and elementary school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future and to help students be safe on line. In addition to the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, the program features AFA CyberCamps and AFA's Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative.
CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship STEM program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. Students in the program also gain valuable knowledge from the expertise of CyberPatriot's many supporters, including the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor. Other program sponsors include Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Leidos, and University of Maryland University College.
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.
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SOURCE Air Force Association